Author: Alan Kelly
Published: 11:18 02/05/2014
Nicky Henderson's Utopie Des Bordes can land the Seaniemac.com European Breeders Fund Mares Handicap Chase at 4.55 Punchestown today.
The Seven Barrows handler holds a strong hand in the 2m5f test as he also saddles Une Artiste, winner of a Grade 3 chase at Fairyouse recently with top weight today Nadiya De La Vega in behind. Barry Geraghty was in the saddle for that success, but has opted to ride Utopie Des Bordes today who is a 3/1 chance with most bookmakers including Ladbrokes and Skybet.
The 6-year-old has been a useful hurdler for Nicky Henderson and came on from a slightly disappointing Pertemps Network Final at the Cheltenham Festival to finish fifth in a competitive handicap at Aintree a month ago, just behind yesterday's surprise World Series Hurdle winner Jetson. The selection was a winner four times over fences in France, so there is little concern about the return to chasing today and a bold bid can be expected.
With 16 runners involved this race is not without its dangers and the biggest could be She's Got Grit if coping with a 7lb rise following a good win at Navan in January, but Utopie Des Bordes is taken to score over fences at the first attempt since November 2012.